Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

Images from a Berkeley Afternoon

DNA sculpture at the Lawrence Hall of Science, March 1996 (link to source photo, 48K jpg)

go to location mapDuring Spring wind patterns in the Bay Area are fitful. I can attest to this through personal experience. Between mid-February and the end of March I tried to take photographs on eight different outings. If the light was right the wind wasn't. If the wind came in so did the overcast. On a few occasions there was simply too much wind and on others too much turbulence. Last week I flew five different kites trying to get stable, camera-lofting lift and no dice. So it was with great relief that, finding steady winds last weekend, I wandered around Berkeley with my sons taking photographs.

The image above is a plan view of the handsome double-helix sculpture on the grounds of our local science museum. It serves as a climbing structure and is usually covered with kids. The diameter of the DNA strands is about 6 feet. Taking the photograph was something of a challenge because the geometry of the site causes a large wind pocket in the area of the sculpture. I will come back to take more photos when it is occupied.

Tom McAlister and Pam Lim at the Berkeley Waterfront, March 1996 (53K jpg)

Tom runs the local kite concession at Berkeley's Waterfront Park and is an avid kite buggy driver. This view shows Tom with wife Pam Lim outside his "shop".

Running Sailboat enters the Berkeley Marina, March 1996 (47K jpg)

Well I guess I have to fess up. One of the reasons I finally found steady winds was a visit to the Berkeley Waterfront (I'm on record as saying I need no more images of this area). The steady winds of the waterfront were a delight providing solid, steady lift for the camera rig. It sweetly sat there in the sky allowing me to concentrate on the photo process, quite a luxury. This image shows a sailboat, the Berkeley Yacht Club, and the Berkeley Pier in the distance.

Plan view of the Berkeley Yacht Club, March 1996 (60K jpg)

Here we see the BYC Building and point visible in the preceding image. In this case I was flying on the yacht club side if the harbor entrance (and on a different day as well.) The image is a two-photo montage.

Berkeley Yacht Club Entry, March 1996 (47K jpg)

This is a quirky image looking straight down from above the BYC. The camera rig, suspended from the Sutton Flowform 30, was just barely flying and I placed it in a tentative hover immediately above a large pine tree. The resulting image is part pine and part building. It looks better in the larger jpg version.

Kite propelled buggies at the Berkeley Waterfront, March 1996 (48K jpg)

Tom McAlister and Chuck Sigal are avid kite buggying enthusiasts and can frequently be found at the Berkeley Waterfront. I spent a bit of time that afternoon shooting images of their buggies and quad-line traction kites from above. This north-looking view shows the green springtime mantle of the park and the buggies from a distance. The buggies are a familiar scene at the waterfront, looks like fun.

Closer view of the buggies, March 1996 (60K jpg)

In this closer shot you can see Tom and Chuck from immediately above. You can make out the kite bridles and cells clearly but Tom and Chuck fuzzed out in the scan.

The turning circle at the Berkeley Waterfront, March 1996 (47K jpg)

This is the road where one parks on kite flying expeditions to the waterfront. My red VW convertible is at the lower edge of the image. I just sort of like the image.

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All rights reserved. Revised: Thursday, July 18, 1996